23 May 2017
UN Highlights Role of Big Data in Achieving Big Impact for Development
story highlights

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day focused on the theme, ‘Big Data for Big Impact’.

The Day highlighted the potential of big data to enhance evidence-based decision-making and drive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

17 May 2017: The UN recognized the potential of big data to enhance evidence-based decision-making at global, regional, national, and local levels and drive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The Day focused on the theme, ‘Big Data for Big Impact’ and aimed to explore how to turn complex, often imperfect and unstructured data into actionable information for development.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhao explained that the Day’s theme explores “the power of big data for development and examine[s] the opportunities to convert unprecedented quantities of data into information that can drive development.” Zhao further informed that ITU members will contribute to building momentum to learn to better harness and perfect big data and identify and seize opportunities to use big data to address development challenges.

Also on data and development, ITU announced the top-90 winning Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development (ICT4D) initiatives for the sixth edition of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) prizes. The WSIS Prizes recognize outstanding projects that leverage the power of ICT to accelerate socio-economic development and improve livelihoods around the world. Over 1.1 million voters selected the winners from a list of 345 ICT success stories nominated through a comprehensive review process. The Prizes feature 18 categories linked to the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development. The winners will be honored during ITU’s WSIS Forum in June, which is expected to discuss the role of ICTs as a means of implementation for the SDGs. [UN Press Release] [ITU Secretary-General Message] [ITU Website on the Day] [ITU Press Release on WSIS Prizes] [WSIS Prizes Website] [WSIS Forum Website]

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